Saturday, February 22, 2014

Make Your Images Come to Life With thinglink

Blogging for us today is Shelley Coover, Technology Instructional Coach with Noblesville Schools.

thinglink


One of the newer digital tools on the rise is thinglink, and if you haven’t discovered this new “thing” you need to check it out!
thinglink allows you to take an image and make it interactive by literally adding links to “things” on it, making your static image come to life. Links can be anything—text, URLs, videos, music, sounds…the possibilities are endless. See below for examples of what thinglink can do:




Using an interactive, visual tool such as thinglink provides an engaging way to present learning and enhance instruction across all grade levels. Here are a couple of resources for ways to use thinglink in your classroom:




10 Innovative Ways to Use ThingLink in the Classroom
Certainly, you can see there are many ways you can incorporate thinglink into your curriculum for students. But don’t overlook the power in what thinglink can do for you as a teacher. In my district, we are moving to a 1:1 MS environment next fall with iPads. It would be very useful for a teacher to make a thinglink with URLs and short videos with those essential iPad “how-to” instructions. This would help facilitate all those questions on the first few days of school. Since thinglinks can be shared, students would always have access to the information and could refer to it when they need a reminder on how to perform a task on their iPad. This same thinglink could also be placed on the school website as a resource for parents to access as well. 

During the summer, teachers could make a thinglink to introduce themselves to students and parents before school starts. Add links with a picture of your family or pets. Make a short video to say Welcome Back! Add some music or demonstrate your favorite hobby. When you are finished, post your thinglink on the school website. As soon as students find out who their teacher is, they can go to the web and learn all about him or her. Allowing students to interact with their teacher and become familiar with who he/she is as a person before the first day of school could sure put students at ease and calm some "first day" jitters beforehand.

Speaking of back to school, a great team-building activity in your classroom would be to have students create thinglinks as a way to introduce themselves. Have students take a "selfie" and then add their favorite things such as music, food, colors, etc. Or, if you want to stick with the old “What did you do on your summer vacation?,” thinglink would be a more engaging activity for students than writing a paper, don’t you agree?

Creating a thinglink is not hard to do and I know once you get started you'll keep creating and finding hundreds of ways to use this tool with students. If you develop an idea or lesson using thinglink, please share it with us and tell us about your experience.

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